Drivers and Challenges for Rooftop Solar Loans toSmall and Medium Enterprises in India

Drivers-and-Challenges-for-Rooftop-Solar-Loans-to-Small-and-Medium-Enterprises-in-India

Executive Summary

India needs to accelerate the growth of its rooftop solar sector. Of the 40 GW of rooftop solar installations targeted by 2022, the country has only achieved 2 GW to-date. This slow progress may hinder the country’s ability to reach its overall solar targets and meet its energy demand.

Presently in India, there are two dominant business models for rooftop solar: the capital expenditure (CAPEX) model, which has an approximate 75%
of market share, and the renewable energy supply company (RESCO) model, which accounts for 22%
of rooftop installations. These models work fine for larger commercial and industrial (C&I) players who have access to upfront capital, or can obtain commer- cial loans. However, rooftop solar remains constrained among smaller C&I players, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), and residential customers due to lack of financial resources and inability to access debt.

A CAPEX model with a commercial loan for the off- taker is a potential solution for these categories of cus- tomers. This model has proven effective with large scale implementation across Europe and the U.S.

This proposed model is similar to the existing the CAPEX model, where the customer makes the upfront payment to finance the solar assets. This payment
is, however, financed by a mix of the customer’s own equity and a commercial loan taken directly by the customer.

In this report, we assess the viability of the CAPEX loan model with a focus on the MSME sector, identify barriers to uptake, and recommended policy solutions to these barriers.

Through secondary research and interviews, we draw the following conclusions:

1. There are several factors that could lead to a significant demand for the CAPEX loan model. The barriers to the CAPEX cash (i.e., lack of capital)
and the RESCO model, such as lack of equity with smaller developers and difficulty in raising debt for MSMEs, are some of the factors that can encourage the uptake of the CAPEX loan model.

On the demand side, the model is primarily driven by a cost imperative as the installation cost of solar energy has decreased significantly and has become cheaper than procuring from the grid in most of Indian states.

While developers may find it difficult to raise funds for projects targeting MSMEs and unrated clients, the customers themselves can leverage their existing banking relationships to raise debt for solar installation. This is another major driver.

Customers can also take advantage of accelerated depreciation, offsetting their tax liabilities in the initial years.

  1. However, there are barriers and challenges that need to be addressed to expand the possible use of the model. The biggest barrier that the model faces for MSME clients is perceived lack of creditworthi- ness due to lack of credit information/ratings. This barrier is further aggravated by the high transaction cost/time of MSME rooftop loans due to their small size, decreasing their attractiveness to lenders. Lack of awareness on the part of MSMEs and perceived performance risk of solar generation are other important barriers that can limit the expansion of the model’s use.According to the lenders, MSMEs are often over-leveraged in terms of their borrowing, which makes it difficult for them to borrow for solar installations. MSMEs themselves may be unwilling to invest a sizeable portion of their capital (through equity or taking additional debt) in a non-core business activity that ties up capital for long periods of time.
  2. Market solutions could help overcome these barriers. We identify and prioritize policy solutions for key barriers in Table ES1, based on factors of potential impact and implementation feasibility. These solutions cater specifically to the top two barriers identified in the study. The other barriers, although important, need further research and discourse. CPI, through its future work, intends to continue to work and delve deeper to find potential solutions to these barriers.

There are also certain other policy solutions, like increasing the limit for net-metered solar plants and devising clear timelines for benefits, that could help create a more favorable environment for rooftop solar. Coupled with the solutions discussed above, these solu- tions could open more opportunities for solar uptake in the MSME sector.

 

 

Contents

  1. Introduction 6
    1. 1.1  Dominant business models in rooftop solar: CAPEX and RESCO 6
    2. 1.2  Challenges with existing models 7
  2. The CAPEX loan model: A potential solution to scale-up rooftop solar for Micro,
    Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India 9

    1. 2.1  The CAPEX loan model 9
    2. 2.2  Advantages in comparison to the existing models 9
  3. Barriers to scale-up the CAPEX loan model 12
    1. 3.1  Lack of interest by the lenders 12
    2. 3.2  Lack of awareness among the MSMEs 13
    3. 3.3  Inability of MSME to absorb additional debt 13
    4. 3.4  Opportunity cost of the investment 13
  4. Solutions and policy recommendations 14
    1. 4.1  Challenge 1: Lack of interest by the lenders 14
    2. 4.2  Challenge 2: Lack of awareness among the MSMEs 18
    3. 4.3  Challenge 3 and 4: Inability to absorb additional debt and opportunity cost of the investment 18
    4. 4.4  Other recommendations 18
  5. Conclusion and way forward 19
  6. References 20
  7. Appendices 21
    1. 7.1  Appendix 1: Policy barriers 21
    2. 7.2  Appendix 2: Credit Guarantee Mechanism 21
    3. 7.3  Appendix 3: Financial analysis 22
Posted in India, Renewables, Rooftop, Solar | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lowest solar power tariff bid at Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat has equalled the record of fetching the lowest tariff for solar power in India. The reverse e-auction carried out on Monday by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) for 500 MW solar power capacity saw two power developers quoting a tariff of Rs 2.44 per unit.

This lowest tariff of Rs 2.44 per unit was first achieved in May 2017 through a 500 MW auction conducted by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for Bhadla Phase-III Solar Park in Rajasthan.

“The lowest tariff of Rs 2.44 per unit was reached in the bidding conducted today by GUVNL for 500 MW solar power. It is at par with the historic low solar tariff achieved in an auction last year for Bhadla solar park in Rajasthan,” said Pankaj Joshi, managing director, GUVNL.

Aditya Birla Renewables Ltd and Giriraj Renewables Private Ltd bagged contracts to supply 100 MW and 300 MW solar power respectively by quoting Rs 2.44 per unit. Azure Power India Private Ltd won 100 MW capacity for Rs 2.45/ unit.

These low tariffs assume importance as there were apprehensions of increase in solar power rates after the imposition of safeguard duty on solar cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia. Indian solar power developers heavily depend on imports for their projects.

In fact, GUVNL had to scrap the 500 MW tender in April last year as it found the tariffs quoted by successful bidders to be higher. Then, Kalathia Engineering had emerged as the lowest bidder with Rs 2.98 per unit rate.

The annulled tender was re-issued by GUVNL in June 2018 and 13 companies participated by placing bids aggregating 2,000 MW. Amid fears of rising solar power tariffs post imposition of safeguard duty, GUVNL had also raised the ceiling tariff to Rs 3 per unit from Rs 2.75 per unit.

“Despite higher cap, the lowest price has been achieved and this shows that there is still an appetite for providing solar power at affordable prices,” said a source close to the development. GUVNL had received the lowest bid of Rs 2.65 per unit when it auctioned 500 MW capacity in September last year.

Gujarat is also credited for discovering the lowest price of Rs 2.43 per unit for wind power through tariff-based auction, which was completed in December 2017.

Source: TOI
Posted in Crystalline, India, PV, Renewables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Supreme Court allows Safeguard Duty

The decision is an interim order issued by the Supreme Court, according to Bloomberg Quint. The next hearing is scheduled for October.

This major ruling puts an end to all uncertainty surrounding the 25% safeguard duty, recommended earlier this year by the Directorate of Trade Remedies (DGTR).

The two-year phased-duty was ratified by the Ministry of Finance on July 30. However, the order was later temporarily halted, after the Odisha High Court issued a stay order on the imposition of the duty until August 20, following a petition from Acme Solar Holdingsopposing it.

The new ruling of the Supreme Court nullifies the stay order.

With July 30, 2018, as the effective date of the duty imposition, the developers which had their solar module shipments released by providing bonds, will now have to pay the duties.

India’s import of cells has jumped from 1,275 MW in 2014-15, to 9,790 MW in 2017-18. Exports from China and Malaysia account for nearly 90% of the total inbound shipments to the country. India, meanwhile, produced 842 MW solar cells in 2017-18.

In its report, the DGTR concluded that the increased imports of solar cells in India have caused ‘serious injury’ and ‘threaten to cause serious injury’ to the domestic producers.

Source: PV Magazine

Posted in Anti Dumping Duty, Anti-Dumping, Cells & Modules, India, PV, Renewables, Solar | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

PI Berlin examines risks facing PV projects in India

Study finds that “the Indian market is a double-edged sword”

The Indian market is one of the most profitable yet risky for project developers and investors in photovoltaics (PV). While large-scale projects of over 100 megawatts (MW) are now common, the investment risks caused by the climate, poor installation and lack of proper maintenance is on the rise. In a study conducted on behalf of the National Metrology Institute of Germany (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt – PTB), PI Berlin has recently examined the most common risks facing Indian PV projects and how they can be avoided.

Six PV projects in India were investigated between 3rd and 14th July 2017 for the purposes of the study. The study was conducted with the support of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the Indian National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The German KfW Development Bank helped select which projects to analyse and assisted PI Berlin in gaining access to them.

PUBLIC_Pilot_Study_on_Quality_Aspects_of_PV_Power_Plants_in_India_

Posted in Cells & Modules, Crystalline, India, PV, Renewables, Solar, Solar PV, Thin Film | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Safeguard Duty Notified for Solar Cells imported into India from China PR and Malaysia

Updated: India’s Ministry of Finance has imposed a 25% safeguard duty on imports of solar cells and modules from Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China, starting tonight.

In keeping with the final recommendations proposed by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), the 25% duty will run for one year (from 30 July 2018 to 29 July 2019), then reduce to 20% for a six-month period (30 July 2019 to 29 January 2020), and to 15% for the final six-month period (30 January 2020 to 29 July 2020).

All levels of the duty will be imposed “ad valorem minus anti-dumping duty payable, if any” when imported during the relevant period, said the Gazette of India notification.

The notification stated: “Nothing contained in this notification shall apply to imports of subject goods from countries notified as developing countries vide notification No. 19/2016-Customs (N.T.) dated 5th February, 2016, except China PR, and Malaysia.”

Click here for the full notification

The Indian solar industry currently sources more than 90% of its cells and modules from China and Malaysia.

However, last week, major Indian PV developer Acme Solar received a stay order from the Orissa High Court regarding the imposition of the safeguard duty.

Chinese solar manufacturers still set to benefit from India’s safeguard duties

The Indian government imposition of 25% import duties on solar cells and modules from China and Malaysia to safeguard domestic manufacturers does not include solar cells and modules imported from Indonesia and Vietnam, due to being classified as ‘developing countries.’

Further checks have indicated that Thailand and Philippines would also be classified as developing countries and therefore excluded from the duties. This would assist companies such as leading ‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) member JinkoSolar, which has a major manufacturing operation in Thailand.

A number of Chinese PV manufacturers and other foreign suppliers have production operations in Indonesia and Vietnam, enabling them to supply solar products in India, without the import duty.

Leading integrated high-efficiency monocrystalline module manufacturer and ‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) member LONGi Green Energy Technology had already reignited previously suspended manufacturing plans in Andhra Pradesh, India.

LONGi is investing US$309 million, including around US$240 million in constructing a new facility with an initial nameplate capacity of 1,000MW of monocrystalline solar cells and expand its mothballed 500MW module assembly plant to 1GW.

Given the slim margins for suppliers into the Indian market, the exclusion from the safeguard duties could be a major competitive advantage over the next two years of the duties being imposed.

Further updates to follow.

Chinese PV manufacturers in Indonesia

Chinese and OEM PV manufacturers in Vietnam

Source: PV-Tech

Posted in Anti Dumping Duty, Anti-Dumping, Cells & Modules, China, India, Ministry of Finance, MNRE, Policy, PV, Solar | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SoftBank, Actis, and CDC Group Companies Win SECI’s 750 MW Solar Auction

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has auctioned 750 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity to be developed at the Kadapa Solar Park in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The capacity was tendered by SECI in January 2018 under the NSM Phase-II Batch-IV Tranche-XV.

In the SECI auction, ₹2.70 (~$0.039)/kWh emerged as the lowest (L1) tariff quoted. Both SB Energy and Sprng Soura Kiran Vidyut quoted the L1 tariff in the auction.

SoftBank, Actis and CDC Group Companies Win SECI’s 750 MW Solar Auction

When contacted, a SECI official confirmed the conclusion of financial bidding and said, “SB Energy Seven Private Limited quoted the L1 tariff to develop 250 MW. Sprng Soura Kiran Vidyut (Actis) also quoted a tariff of ₹2.70 (~$0.039)/kWh to develop 250 MW, Ayana Renewables quoted a tariff of ₹2.71 (~$0.0394)/kWh to develop 250 MW.”

ACME Solar and Fortum were the other bidders participating in the financial bidding. ACME quoted a tariff of ₹2.71 (~$0.0394)/kWh and Fortum quoted a tariff of ₹2.79 (~$0.040)/kWh to develop 250 MW each but could not win the auction.

SoftBank, Actis and CDC Group Companies Win SECI’s 750 MW Solar Auction

The L1 tariff quoted in this auction is ₹0.26 (~$0.003)/kWh, more than the recently quoted low tariff of ₹2.44 (~$0.035)/kWh in SECI’s recently concluded 2 GW solar PV auction.

Source: Mercom

Posted in Andhra Pradesh, Crystalline, Grid Connected, India, Power Generation, PV, Renewables, Solar | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Impose 95 per cent safeguard duty on solar cells import: ISMA

Impose 95 per cent safeguard duty on solar cells import: ISMANew Delhi: Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) has demanded imposition of 95 per cent safeguard duty on imports of solar cells and modules to protect domestic players from cheap inbound shipments.

The association put its demand during a public hearing called by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), under the commerce ministry, on the issue on Tuesday. The directorate heard different sections of solar energy sector on safeguard duty investigation of solar cells.

“According to the ISMA data submitted to the DGTR, the injury from solar imports is to the tune of 95 per cent and therefore ISMA sought the proportionate safeguard duty on the solar equipment imports,” ISMA Coordinator Dhruv Sharma said.

Sharma expressed hope that a decision would be taken by the authority by the middle of next month. The parties will submit their written submission tomorrow on which rebuttal can be submitted by July 2. Thus, a decision can be expected by middle of July.

However, according to Solar Power Developer Association, the imposition of safeguard duty can jeopardise India’s ambitious target of having 100 GW by 2022 as it would directly impact 25 GW capacity which either tendered or being tendered.

The ISMA in its submission has stated that India is missing out on a multi-billion opportunity for the country by allowing import of inputs from countries such as China, Taiwan and Malaysia.

“India is estimated to add capacity of 9,000 MW solar power in 2018. This means India will give away market opportunity worth Rs 21,500 crore to China, Taiwan or Malaysia at the cost of interests and employment of national capital and labour,” it said.

India is targeting 100 gigawatt (GW) solar capacity by 2022. Solar cells are electrical devices that convert sunlight directly into electricity, are imported primarily from China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.

Imports of the cells from these countries account for more than 90 per cent of the total inbound shipments in the country.

Source: ET

Posted in Anti Dumping Duty, Cells & Modules, Crystalline, Government, Policy, PV, Renewables, Solar Policy, Solar PV | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment